BOSTON (AP) — The claim doesn’t involve millions, but priceless memories.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley claims in a civil action filed this week that a wedding videography company scammed dozens of newlywed couples by never delivering their video footage or refunding their money.
The lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court seeks to recover the victims’ wedding footage and about $75,000 in restitution and penalties from a business that operated in Millbury as SureShot Portraits, LLC.
The claim names business owner Jesse J. Clark, his wife Veronica, and a company employee. No one answered the home phone number listed for the Clarks on Thursday afternoon.
“He took advantage of more than 80 couples on their wedding days, robbing them not only of thousands of dollars but of more importantly, those priceless memories,” Coakley said Thursday of the business owner.
Coakley said her office got 84 complaints, including from a Waltham couple who paid $1,000 but never got video footage from their May 2012 wedding.
“It’s been devastating,” 25-year-old Lauren Baldner said. “We just wanted to be able to preserve those memories.”
Her husband Ryan said they’d like to someday show their children a video of their first dance and be able to remember all the details from that day.
“I would love to see my wife walk down that aisle again and I just hope that we can eventually get our wedding video back,” he said.
Coakley said some couples paid up to $2,000, and in some cases, no videographer showed up to film the weddings. On other occasions the company took video footage, but allegedly wouldn’t provide it later. The company’s excuses for not providing footage included that Hurricane Irene destroyed footage, according to the attorney general.
Coakley said when some couples posted negative online reviews, the company said they’d hold wedding footage hostage unless the reviews came down. The attorney general also alleged that the company changed names to try to escape bad publicity.
Coakley’s office said there’s a temporary restraining order in place to keep the defendants from destroying any wedding video footage, and from soliciting or accepting deposits for future videography business.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.